Until being sent this five-track acoustic EP entitled ‘Part And Parcel’, Make Do And Mend, a rock/punk band from Hartford, Connecticut are a band that I was not familiar with. ‘Part And Parcel’ contains three tracks that were originally recorded on their 2011 full-length release, ‘End Measured Mile’, and after a quick listen to the aforementioned full-length on the handy medium that is Spotify, it was about time to open ‘Part And Parcel’.
Opening track ‘Unknowingly Strong’ is coincidently the opening track off of ‘End Measured Mile’, and the contrast between the raw, punk-laced, almost screamed original recording and this soft and melodic conversion is striking in a whole different manner. Immediately I am shocked as well as pleased to notice how well frontman James Carroll‘s voice transfers from the rawer sounding original track into this fantastic acoustic version, complimenting the understated, toned down sound of this EP.
This strength passes into the following track ‘Ghostal’, a slightly slower piece laced with understated piano chording throughout. The main appeal of ‘Ghostal’ to me are the catchy and succinct chorus lyrics of “The hardest lessons learned, are the ones we learn alone”.
‘Home Away From Here’ is a track originally written and recorded by the hardcore quintet Touché Amoré appearing to be based around feelings of not belonging; something that I’m sure that many of Make Do And Mend‘s fans will be able to relate and sing along to. The song is well performed, yet I can’t help but feel that it’s overshadowed by the following track, ‘Transparent Seas’, another track taken and transformed from their 2011 full-length. This track begins tentatively and slowly builds up and drops down, keeping the listener on tenterhooks as to where it will lead, scattered with a fitting dusting of piano chords that culminate in an almost rapturous yet soothing conclusion.
After listening to the much more ‘country’ jaunty-sounding ‘Coats’ and penultimate offering ‘Untitled’, it’s very difficult to pinpoint a ‘stand-out’ track from this absolutely outstanding EP. Although personally, I feel that opening track ‘Unknowingly Strong’ is on another level altogether.
On the whole, ‘Part And Parcel’ proves that any punk-orientated band can transfer their penchants for intense riffs and equally intense vocals into something much more subdued and understated to create an absolutely fantastic record. My only criticism is that there wasn’t enough of it.
Written by Luke Davis
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.